Q: How did you get into woodworking?
A: One day I needed to make a bench for my bonsai trees and could not find anything to buy that would fit the bill, so decided to make it myself. That was back in 1995, and I have been working wood ever since.
Q: Who are your woodworking heroes/gods/gurus?
A: Woodworkers—George Gavaric, Hank Holzer and Grant Vaughan. Designers—Greene & Greene, Frank Lloyd Wright, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Marcel Breuer and Carlo Molino.
Q: What do you mainly make?
A: Fine Furniture
Q: Your thoughts on traditional vs ‘new’ and digital?
A: I like the joinery that goes into traditional furniture, but love contemporary design.
Q: What are you pet woodworking hates?
A: Sanding, hate it, but to make a piece of furniture usually involves several hours of sanding so it can’t be avoided.
Q: What is your desert island hand tool/ machine/ timber/ woodie book?
A: Twin drum sander with inbuilt satellite phone.
Q: The best thing you’ve ever made?
A: Don’t think I have made it yet, but I’m hoping one day to make it.
Q: Your best excuse for not getting something quite right?
A: That’s easy, not thinking.
Q: Your most often-made mistake?
A: Cutting materials too short.
Q: Your biggest woodworking disaster!!?
A: Trying to save money when starting out by using white PVA for curved laminates. At least I learnt and in the meantime found a cheap source of yellow glue.
Q: The thing I would most like to change about wood is…
A: The price of very nice timber.
Q: The thing I would most like to change about woodworkers is…
A: Stop hobbyists from going over my furniture with a fine-tooth comb.
Q: The thing I would most like to change about my own woodworking is…
A: Nothing, as I am very happy with where woodworking has taken me and where I am going
Q: My final word on woodwork is…
A: As frustrating as working with wood can be sometimes, I cannot imagine myself doing anything else with my life that pleases me so much and also pays the bills.
Write to Darren Oates at: firstname.lastname@example.org